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Set a Place for Big Data at the Adults' Table

5 reasons it's time to take big data disaster recovery seriously.

Remember when you were a kid and you had the sense there was something more important going on at the adults’ table, conversations that seemed more powerful than what you heard at the kids' table? That's how Big Data is feeling now about the inadequate programs in place to backup, protect, archive and recover the growing amount of large data sets that are gaining more importance in the overall success and business value of organizations. It's time, actually overdue, to move Big Data to the adults' table. As you put into place solid protection and recovery solutions which will fully actualize the extraordinary power of your Big Data initiatives, you'll increase efficiency and improve business decision making through advanced analytics and innovation.

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'Regular' sized data sets are enjoying feature-rich solutions and the commitment of IT to deliver on SLAs and provide protection at the desired level. Big Data sets have been underserved due to the daunting challenges of fashioning solutions that can support such large data sets, at a reasonable enough cost that IT can obtain budget approval. As counterpoint, however, while Big Data may be weakly protected, Big Data initiatives are on the rise. A 2015 global study of data-driven initiatives among enterprises showed that the number of organizations that have deployed or implemented data-driven projects has increased by 125%.2

As compliance and governance regulations become more critical, the realization that Big Data is at risk is shifting priorities. IT organizations understand that Big Data must be protected with the same level of sophistication – even more – as their 'regular' sized data. This is applying new pressure to embrace data protection and management that is Big Data aware so that automated disaster recovery and enhanced levels of visibility can be achieved for platforms including Hadoop, Greenplum and GPFS.

Unstructured data to rise from 9.3 zettabytes in 2015 to 44.1 zettabytes by 2020.
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As you begin to embrace Big Data, there are five key issues you need to consider to achieve the same level of protection for vary large data sets as you do for those 'normal' enterprise data volumes.


Looking ahead to Big Data growth the clearly looming force is unstructured data – Twitter, Facebook, video – where valuable customer intelligence data now lies, if correctly managed and protected. IDC estimates unstructured data to rise from 9.3 zettabytes in 2015 to 44.1 zettabytes by 2020.3 Here's the scary fact: while unstructured data forges ahead, organizations are woefully unprepared for protecting the data and even blasé about its value. An industry survey of more than 1,100 respondents showed that organizations placed greater priority on structured initiatives, and 32% said managing unstructured data was not on their priority list.4 Other survey results showed that, of over 100 responding enterprises with a median of 20 TB of unstructured data stored, only 37% regularly audited the amount of data that employees or business units produce. Only half of organizations responding had an information governance program in place.5 Your Big Data management solution must easily accommodate unstructured data – and lots of it – to deliver the comprehensive protection and recovery you require.

Big Data Train Wreck Ahead!

Read why Big Data is not being protected with the same careful processes put into place as 'regular' data sets and the precarious position it is causing.


The most economical approach is to integrate Big Data protection into existing IT recovery infrastructure. This however, requires a solution that is Big Data aware, that can provide enhanced levels of visibility into leading Big Data tools such as Hadoop, Greenplum and GPFS. To be truly Big Data aware, solutions need to help customers map Big Data implementations and architectures, providing insight for how these environments can be protected and recovered in whole or across selected nodes, components, and/or data sets.


Unstructured, textual data includes email messages, PowerPoint presentations, Word documents, collaboration software, instant messages and so much more. To see unstructured data growth in play, all you need to do is check your increasing inbox! Now multiply that with volumes of structured data and the analytic data used to derive business insights from all that data and you have a complex multi-structured mess that comprises most Big Data environments. To achieve both security and compliance for all of that stored data you need to employ a sophisticated converged Big Data backup and archive process that will assure recoverability as well as discovery, all without adding complexity or heavy resource overhead.

50% of IT teams are not ready for unstructured data growth

Disaster Recovery to ANY Cloud

Cloud-based disaster recovery is quickly becoming one of the biggest use cases for the cloud. And at Commvault, we can help you uncover all of the cloud’s disaster recovery advantages.


Big Data can be organized into multi-node systems which can bring inherent complexity to protection and recovery of desired data. New software advancements provide companies with an intelligent approach to protecting the infrastructure of Big Data initiatives with the ability to automate disaster recovery for these multi-node systems. Automated disaster recovery reduces the risk of human error caused by manual disaster recovery. As with any form of data, all users do not have all access. Seek solutions that offer a single user interface for setting rules and policies across any combination of physical, virtual, cloud and Big Data environments. This enables more efficient and reliable data management and disaster recovery while meeting recovery time and point objectives.


Large data sets can reside in a number of infrastructure options – cloud, on-premises, virtualized or traditional. In managing, backing up and recovering Big Data, look for a solution that enables you to implement data portability regardless of the data's origin. This will give you the agility you need to avoid vendor lock in so you can take advantage of new innovations and developments with ease.

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The Big Data kids are getting hungry, looking over at the IT adults’ table. Big Data needs a place in IT compliance, security and disaster recovery in accordance with its value to the enterprise in business intelligence, advanced analytics and technological innovation. One cautionary note: While we’re [hopefully] becoming more convinced that Big Data has earned a seat at the adult table, even regular data isn’t being completely protected. According to IDC, 20% of organizations have never tested their disaster recovery plan, or amazingly, even have one in place.

Why not take a look now at your overall data protection and recovery infrastructure and see if you’re ready for continually increasing Big Data sets as well as delivering the best solutions for protection of ‘regular’ data assets? There’s room at the table for them all.

  1. 1 2015 Big Data and Analytics Survey, IDG Enterprise,
  2. 2 Adoption and Trends in Object-based Storage, 2015 Data Storage Innovation Conference,
  3. 3 ibid
  4. 4 Survey: 50% of IT Teams Not Ready For Unstructured Data Growth, April, 2016
  5. 5 Disaster Recovery in a Virtual World, 2016,
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Learn more about how Commvault® can help your organization with our Big Data Management solutions.